By DAVID BRANDTAP Sports Writer
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Aleighsa Welch scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Elem Ibiam blocked a career-high seven shots and No. 6 South Carolina beat Mississippi State 71-64 Thursday night.
The Gamecocks (21-2, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) tied a school record with 14 blocked shots. Alaina Coates added three blocked shots.
South Carolina appeared to have the game in hand with a 52-40 lead midway through the second half, but Mississippi State pulled within 55-54 with 6:25 remaining.
The game stayed tight until the final minute when Tina Roy hit a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left to put the Gamecocks ahead 66-59.
Mississippi State (16-8, 3-7) lost for just the third time at home this season. Jerica James led the Bulldogs with 11 points. Martha Alwal and Savannah Carter both added 10.
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